Motorist planning to buy a car in the next six months intend to spend an average of £7,169 - the highest amount in three years, a new study shows.
The rise in planned expenditure on cars comes despite the overall decrease in the number of people considering a purchase, according to Sainsbury's Finance.
Around 7.15 million people are thinking of buy a new or used car over the six months to August, down from 7.68 million for the September-February period.
But the amount potential car buyers have earmarked is £527 more than the average for the previous six months.
The survey also showed that while Greater London has the highest proportion of people intending to change their car (19%) in the next six months, potential buyers in south-east England plan to collectively spend the largest sum of money (£10.5 billion).
Sainsbury's Finance head of loans, Steven Baillie, said: "Although the number of people looking to buy a car has slightly dropped, the car industry should not be disheartened as the figures in this latest index present a much more encouraging picture for the sector than they did just 18 months to two years ago.
"The VAT rise that came into force at the beginning of the year does not seem to be putting people off making a car purchase, and consumers appear to be realistic in knowing they are likely to need to spend a bit more."
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